Group B Strep diagnosis and treatment(13 Posts)
I'm interested to know if anyone knows anything about having GBS in pregnancy?
It was detected in my first pregnancy so was told I'd have intravenous antibiotics during labour but was told during my contractions from the head mw that I wouldn't be receiving it after all and had to practically beg it was in my maternity notes and I'd read what could possibly happen and didn't think it was worth the risk.
After a lot of nagging I did have the antibiotics given and my daughter was born all healthy
I'm now pregnant again (23 weeks) and have been told I won't get tested for GBS. I'm just wondering if anyone knows if I am to still have it in my system will I be treated through labour or has policy changed?
Just a little anxious I'll have to beg for antibiotics again if I am to have it again.
Thanks in advance X
I’m also pregnant with my second and I think my midwife said that although they won’t test again, I’ll be given the antibiotics during labour as a precaution.
It's generally not something they routinely test for in pregnancy even if you've had it before.
Different trusts have different policies so some will give you antibiotics in labour in a second pregnancy if it was diagnosed in a first and some won't unless the pre ious child was unwell with it.
GBS is a transient bacteria meaning even if you are tested for it and it's there it might not be a few weeks later and vice versa. This is why testing in pregnancy is so difficult.
You used to be able to get a private test via the post but not sure if you can still do that.
I would suggest speaking to your community midwife and finding out what the policy is where you are and going from there.
Just because GBS was present in your last pregnancy, it doesn't mean it's still present now. It's not routinely tested for but if you're really concerned you could possibly ask your GP for a private test. However, this then potentially leads to a cascade of interventions that could've been avoided had you not been aware. If that makes sense
Recent RCOG guidance states any pregnant woman who tested positive in a previous pregnancy should be offered a test between 35-37 weeks so a decision can be made on the need for antibiotics in labour. I’m 32 weeks and will be pushing for this at my next midwife appointment.
News article here
You can order a private test between 35 and 37 weeks which costs less than £40 according to the GBS charity. Im definitely going to get one, I've nursed babys that have died from GBS and its awful and so preventable. It's a shame we don't get routinely tested but if I'd never forgive myself if something happened to my baby and I could have had a test. Hopefully it won't be such a fight for you this time round to get antibiotics, have a look at the NICE guidelines on GBS and print them off so they cant argue that you don't need antibiotics as a precaution
The reason they don't test for it is that it comes and goes, and most people will have it at some point. It often makes up part of the normal skin flora, and only really becomes problematic in pregnancy. So even if they screened you at 37 weeks, unless you went into labour within a day or two of having the test, the result wouldn't tell you anything about your status during labour (which is when it matters). So in many trusts they err on the side of caution by assuming that every woman who's previously had it during labour will have it again, abd giving her antibiotics so she's covered either way. In terms of being protected, I think this is more effective than screening, but of course it raises the issue of antibiotic overuse/resistance.
Its a difficult one because the implications can be so serious, but we don't have a reliable way for testing for it in labour, and testing before labour doesn't really tell us anything useful as it can come / go from one day to the next.
Many trust policies state that you won’t be offered antibiotics if it’s GBS in a previous pregnancy unless baby was affected.
Hospital GBS tests are not done correctly so should be offered as a test done specifically for GBS (most positive results come from urine samples or random swabs taken during pregnancy). It’s a transient infection and is only partially reliable for about 4-5weeks after Swabs are taken.
If you are worried, I suggest doing it privately.. lots of private labs who send you the packs out and you pay them on sending the swabs back. Recommended to don36-37weeks
Thank you all for your replies sorry for the late reply, only just getting over the flu! I will definitely look into getting a private test and go from there thanks again!
I just want to share my story as unfortunately I was not tested for GBS in my last pregnancy and my daughter died from infection during the final stages of labour - there were numerous other medical failings which also contributed to this including not administering antibiotics even though my waters had been broken for a prolonged period of time.
I would strongly strongly urge you to ask for the antibiotics during labour - as a previous poster pointed out new RCOG recommend that if a mother tested positive in a previous pregnancy they should be offered antibiotics in labour. I know this can be considered an intervention but from someone who knows first hand the alternative is much much worse. I am now pregnant again too and will be given antibiotics for sure this time around. If you choose to be tested again studies have showed that although GBS is a transient infection tests are usually accurate for 5 weeks from the date of the test.
I really really hope you don’t think I’m trying to scare you - believe me that is the last thing I would want to do, around 30percent of mother’s carry the bacteria and their babies are fine but as one of the unlucky few whose baby did not make it I wish someone had told me about the risks and tests/antibiotics before labour and feel it’s important to raise awareness of GBS, available testing and appropriate antibiotics for mother’s who are known to carry it. Xx
This is an interesting article/ review about antibiotics and Group B Strep.
Just quickly adding I had not read whole thread when posting. And in no way am I counter-arguing @SJ88. I am sorry for your loss.
I have a few midwife friends and we were discussing GBS As I am unsure whether to have private test or not. Their thoughts on it is GBS is a bacteria that science had not yet fully understood hence why some babies are affected and others are not with or without antibiotics.
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